Winter is, slowly but surely, settling in in Bangalore. It is bright and sunny in the daytime, but it gets nippy in the early mornings and evenings. I can smell the coming of winter in the air. And one of the things that is synonymous with winter, for me, is the piping hot, home-made lilva kachoris that I grew up eating in Ahmedabad. With a gorgeous pigeon pea (fresh tuver) and/or fresh green peas (vatana) stuffing, these kachoris had the power to brighten up a gloomy winter’s day – they still hold the same magic for me.
When the Foodie Monday Blog Hop team decided upon #ChaatsForDiwali as the theme for this week, I was utterly overjoyed. I am a passionate adorer of all things chaat, and can have them for breakfast, lunch and dinner! I instantly knew that I had to make use of the fresh green peas that have begun to appear in the markets of Bangalore. The making of green pea kachoris aka Vatana Ni Kachori, and subsequently converting them into a chaat, came naturally.
So, here’s presenting to you Vatana Ni Kachori Chaat or Matar Kachori Chaat!
Loaded with the goodness of fresh, seasonal ingredients, these delicious kachoris are a delight to gorge on, by themselves. Using them in a chaat only hikes up their deliciousness-quotient quite a few notches. Deep-fried, sinful, chatpata gorgeousness – that is this chaat for you. This beauty surely deserves to find pride of place in your Diwali party. Try it out, and I’m sure you will fall in love with it too!
Here’s the recipe.
Ingredients (makes 18-20 pieces):
For the filling:
- 3 cups fresh green peas
- 4 green chillies
- A 1-inch piece of ginger
- Salt to taste
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- Red chilli powder, to taste
- 3 tablespoons sugar or to taste
- 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh coriander
- 2 tablespoons garam masala or as needed
- Juice of 1 lemon or to taste
- 2 tablespoons raisins
- 8-10 almonds
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1/2 cup fresh grated coconut
- 1 teaspoon cumin (jeera) seeds
- 2 pinches of asafoetida powder (hing)
For the kachori shells:
- 3 cups whole wheat flour
- Salt, to taste
- 2 tablespoons oil + more for deep frying
Ingredients for serving:
- Sev, as needed
- Fresh grated coconut, as needed
- Finely chopped onion, as needed
- Chaat masala, as needed
- Finely chopped coriander, as needed
- Sweet-sour tamarind chutney, as needed
- Spicy green chutney, as needed
We will first get the dough ready, to make the outer shell of the kachoris.
- Take the 3 cups of whole wheat flour in a large mixing bowl.
- Add in salt to taste.
- Adding water little by little, bind a soft dough similar to the one you would make for rotis.
- When the dough is almost ready, add in 2 tablespoons of oil. Mix into the dough.
- Knead the dough for a couple of minutes, and then shape it into a ball.
- Let the dough rest, covered, till the other preparations are done and you are ready to make the kachoris.
Now, we will prepare the filling for the kachoris.
- Peel the ginger and chop finely. Chop the green chillies finely. Grind both together to a paste in a mixer, using a little water. Keep aside.
- Take the green peas in a large mixer jar. Pulse for a couple of seconds, then stop and scrape down the sides of the mixer jar. Pulse similarly 2-3 times, for a couple of seconds each, stopping to scrape down the sides of the mixer jar. The green peas should get coarsely crushed – do not make a fine paste. Keep aside.
- Chop the almonds, raw, into slivers. Keep aside.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a pan. Add in the cumin and asafoetida. Let them stay in for a couple of seconds.
- Now, add the coarsely crushed green peas to the pan. Cook on medium flame for a minute, by which time the peas will begin to shrink a little.
- To the pan, add salt to taste, turmeric powder, garam masala, the ginger-garlic paste we prepared earlier, and the sugar. Cook for a minute more on medium flame.
- Add the slivered almonds, fresh grated coconut and raisins to the pan. Mix well, and cook on medium flame for a minute more. Switch off gas.
- Add finely chopped coriander to the filling in the pan. Mix well. The filling is ready! Keep aside and let it cool down completely.
Now, we will prepare the kachoris and deep fry them.
- Take the oil for deep frying in a heavy-bottomed pan. Place on high flame and allow it to heat up, till it reaches smoking point.
- Meanwhile, take a small ball of the dough that has been resting. Place it on a flour-dusted work surface and roll it out like a small roti.
- Place a generous amount of the green pea stuffing we prepared earlier in the centre of the circle. Close the roti, making a semi-circular shape. Gently seal the edges.
- When the oil reaches smoking point, lower the flame to medium. Drop the kachori you prepared in Step 3 above into the hot oil. Deep fry on medium heat till the kachori turns brown and crisp on the outside, taking care that it is evenly cooked and that it does not get burnt.
- Transfer the deep-fried kachori to a serving plate.
Prepare the Vatana Ni Kachori Chaat now.
- Use a knife to cut the hot kachori roughly into bite-sized pieces, in the serving plate.
- Drizzle some sweet-sour tamarind chutney and some spicy green chutney over it.
- Top with some finely chopped onion and coriander, some sev and fresh grated coconut.
- Add a bit of chaat masala on top. Serve immediately.
- Prepare all the Vatana Ni Kachori in a similar manner, using it to make chaat while still hot.
- You can use a mix of maida and whole wheat flour to make the outer shell for the kachoris, like I have done here. In the above recipe, I have used only whole wheat flour.
- You can use slivered cashewnuts in the filling instead of almonds, if you so prefer.
- Make sure you get the oil for deep frying nice and hot, till it reaches smoking point. Then, turn down the flame to medium. Fry the rolls on medium flame, ensuring that they are fried evenly on all sides and that they do not get burnt.
- You can get as imaginative as you want with the toppings you use to make the chaat. Here, I have used whatever I had on hand at the moment.
- You can make the filling for the kachoris without garam masala, sugar or lemon juice, but I would not recommend that. Every single ingredient used in the filling contributes towards enhancing the textures and flavours of the chaat.
- You can use a mix of fresh green peas and pigeon peas (tuvar lilva or fresh tuvar) to make the filling, like I have done here. In the above recipe, though, I have made the filling using only green peas.
- If you are using frozen green peas, ensure that you bring them to room temperature first, before using them to make the filling.
- Click here for my recipe for the sweet-and-sour tamarind chutney I have used in the chaat.
- Click here for my recipe for the spicy green chutney I have used in the chaat.
- I have used store-bought fine sev from Chitalebandhu and chaat masala from Ciba Taaza to make the chaat.
- This chaat tastes best when the kachoris are hot. So, you could deep-fry a couple of kachoris, and then use them immediately to make the chaat.
Did you like the recipe? Do tell me, in your comments!
This post is for Foodie Monday Blog Hop. The theme for the week is #ChaatsForDiwali, wherein members are sharing recipes for Diwali party-special chaats.